Nevada AG’s office releases findings in death of UNLV student after charity boxing match

The Nevada Attorney General’s office has released its findings and recommendations in the death of a UNLV student following a charity boxing match.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 11:00 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Nevada Attorney General’s Office released new findings after a review of the November Kappa Sigma Fight Night that led to the death of UNLV student Nathan Valencia. The report detailed three key findings, including that the police investigation was too limited in scope and new recommendations on how to avoid something similar from happening in the future.

The report found not all fighters were students, which led to confusion over what agency could regulate the event.

It also found the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police investigation was limited to only whether the event center had a valid Clark County business license.

“After determining that it did, Metro conducted no additional inquiries into the matter,” the report finds. “As a result, effervescent evidence was not timely obtained and secured. This evidence includes the boxing gloves used by Mr. Valencia’s opponent, the wraps used by his opponent, or potential evidence of illicit substance use.”

The AG’s office said that law enforcement conclusions that no crime was committed were premature and compromised any possible future prosecution.

Less than two weeks after Valencia’s death, the police department sent out this statement saying in part, “although Mr. Valencia’s death is tragic, the circumstances surrounding his death are not criminal and no charges will be filed.”

Since the fight night was not sanctioned by USA Boxing or the Nevada Athletic Commission, the AG’s office said many safety protocols were not followed. That includes no pre-fight weigh-in, medical physical, an inspection of gloves and headgear, certified referee, doctor ringside and ambulance staged at the venue.

The AG’s office came up with recommendations for future oversight. It said that although the Nevada Athletic Commission has jurisdiction over most unarmed combat, it doesn’t have the authority to prosecute crimes.

“Crimes related to illicit or unsanctioned unarmed combat must therefore be investigated and prosecuted by local law enforcement agencies as those agencies would for any other violation of state law,” the report read.

It suggests a missed opportunity to discover if Valencia’s opponent was on drugs or tampered with the gloves, which the AG report shows was alleged in multiple witness interviews.

The office concluded that charity boxing events like this should only include experienced and well-trained fighters.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is set to discuss the report at their meeting, Tuesday.